This past weekend delegates at the Washington state PTA Legislative Assembly meeting at the SeaTac Marriott voted to recommend that Olympia lift Washington state's ban on charter public schools. Here is the language they approved:
The Washington State PTA shall initiate and/or support legislation or policies that drive innovation and accountability in public edcuation by allowing the operation of public charter schools in the state of Washington.
Earlier this year, leaders at the statewide teacher union, the WEA, developed a plan to go on strike in local districts that didn’t agree to union demands. In passing New Business Item #6 at their May 12th meeting, union executives outlined a plan for closing schools on days that create maximum disruption for families and children.
The purpose was to show union power – pick a school district and make an example of it.
Last night Tacoma teachers union closed Tacoma’s schools by calling an illegal strike. This morning school district officials filed a lawsuit against the union executives responsible for this action. In the lawsuit, district officials describe, on pages 14-16, the harm the union is doing to Tacoma’s children and to the community at large. Here’s what the strike is doing.
Union executives delivered a harsh message at the Tacoma School Board meeting last night. The KING 5 TV cameras were on location, recording Act 2 of union executives’ plan to target Tacoma schoolchildren if their demands aren’t met.
Writers of the new Common Core standards are explaining to teachers they will have to change the questions they ask their students in order to comply with these new standards. Only questions that keep the discussion on the text, say about the Gettysburg Address, are to be asked. Teachers must not accept students’ responses based on their backgrounds and experiences, as this will allow the discussion to veer away from the text. See “Standards writers wade into curriculum,” Education W
Last month Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn announced that Washington state has formally adopted the national Common Core curriculum standards. These curriculum standards were developed by a national committee and describe what students in every state should learn in math and English, and soon in science. Washington state was required to adopt these standards as a condition of participating in the U.S Department of Education’s Race to the Top competition, where it placed 32 out of 36 competing states.
Background: Arne Duncan is using Congress' failure to reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) to offer states waivers from NCLB in order to impose his Race to the Top vision upon states, including Washington.
The Spokesman Review recently questioned the justifications offered by school officials for the very high pay of several school superintendents in the Spokane area. Superintendent Nancy Stowell is paid $229,369 for leading the Spokane Public School District of 28,712 students, while Superintendent Polly Crowley receives $241,577 for leading the West Valley School District of 3,780 students.
On Monday, I wrote a blog post criticizing the Seattle School District for calling their budget increase a cut, teasing the district that an increase is not a cut. Yesterday, the seattlepi.com reported that the Seattle School District officials now admit their new 2011-12 budget of $577 million is
Parents in Indiana seeking to find the best possible education for their children have been given a huge boost by their elected representatives. "Justice requires that we help parents," said Governor Mitch Daniels. Here is a great summary of the laws Indiana just passed, from The School Choice Advocate, June 2011: